The Examen

November 18th, 2021 | Community Updates

The Examen

The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. We pray this practice will serve to create space to listen to your life and God well.

Prepare yourself by getting in a position that is comfortable but allows you to stay alert. Perhaps placing your feet on the ground if you are in a chair, or sitting on the ground.

Become aware of your body, focusing on the rhythm of your breath. If possible, wiggle your fingers, spread out your hands, relax them. Relax your shoulders, your neck, your face.


Allow your lungs to expand with agreement to the Holy Spirit.

Become willing.


Movement One: Divine Accompany

Holy Spirit, help us attune to your presence.


We choose to welcome and become your love.


We choose to express and share your love.

We are willing and wanting to be conduits of your Divine Love.

We welcome the Holy Spirit to review this week with us. To look upon what we have understood, and what we have misunderstood. God, help us gain clarity, to see with curiosity before judgment. To learn and grow.

We know you are always near, closer than our own breath.

(breathe deep)

What is one or two things that happened this past week that felt big, positive or negative? How did you react to that moment or event? Why do you think that is? When you’re ready, please share with the group.

Movement Two: Gratitude

God, help us to see the gifts of this past week. Help us see the blessing of a day’s work. Help us review exchanges with those we interacted with. Show us where we were benevolent and kind. Show us where we received benevolence and kindness. Help us fully receive that which was given to us.

Love in a meal that was prepared for us.

The seasonal colors on display, words of encouragement.

Things big and small.

Thank you, God for being in the details. Thank you, God, for taking care of the day’s needs.

(breathe deep)

What is one or two things you are thankful for from this past week? Where did you show kindness to someone? Where did you receive kindness? When you’re ready, please share with the group.

Movement Three: Emotional Intelligence

God, stir our emotions. Help us recall the ups and downs of the past week. The times we felt fully alive, at peace, joyful, happy, comforted, whole, connected, our best selves. Help us to see where we felt your ever-present embrace. God, show us what gave us life this past week.

And, help us to recognize people, places, and things that drained us of energy. That made us frustrated, irritated, angry, sad, sorrowful, alone, isolated, unaccepted, fragmented, less than our best selves. Help us see what was death-dealing. Where we lost conscious contact with you.

Let us be curious before being judgmental about our responses to life-giving and death-dealing scenarios. Help us to be willing to see anything we need to deal with that we might have missed.

(breath deep)

What, in this past week, gave you life and why? What, in this past week, was death-dealing and why? You may revisit what was shared in Movement One or something completely new. When you’re ready, please share with the group.

Movement Four: Acceptance

God, looking with honesty at death-dealing experiences in our lives is uncomfortable and distressing. In fact, we often choose to disassociate from our pain using tools like denial or distraction. We have a hard time accepting what is.

Although we may feel you are far away, we know that is just how we feel. You are always close, so with you and courage we are willing to face our fears and pain and accept how things truly are. God to help us with acceptance, hold together our willing hearts as we let if fall open to you…

Holy Spirit, take on this hard situation with us. These things we are really struggling with. Help us look at them, stay present to them, breathe through them.

Give us the courage to sit with pain and death. To see what blocks our awareness of you. To breathe and welcome.

To ask for help with acceptance and healing.

To make amends.

Let your love and life flow through my hearth.

Help me accept your grace to my best ability.

Thank you.

(breathe deep)

In what ways have you disassociated from the pain? What is blocking you from being aware of the presence of God in the midst of your pain and difficult situation? When you’re ready, please share with the group.

Movement Five: Hope for Tomorrow

God, we look with hope for the newness of tomorrow. Shine your light upon tomorrow’s challenges. May we truly feel the possibilities of the deal ahead, and seek connection to you through it all, in our doubts and fears, our uncertainty; in our celebrations and accomplishments, in our anticipation, our delight.

We give you our hearts as our prayer, so that you might feel all that we feel.

Lead us through the day, God.

Jesus, walk with us, gift us wisdom and understanding, hope.

We cannot thank you enough, we accept our lives as a gift.

(breathe deep)

What do you hope for tomorrow? If any, what plan do you feel called to make and be held accountable to keep? When you’re ready, please share with the group.

Closing Prayer

Thank you for this sacred time, thank you for sacred space and ground to be with you and remember. Thank you for loving us as we are, and for never ceasing to offer opportunities to grow in your love.


Rhythms + Practices, Spiritual Formation